During the 2017 Social Media Week NYC, hundreds of professionals gathered to share what paid social advertising trends are emerging in the digital marketing space, to discuss how Amazon’s Alexa is disrupting things, and to keep a close eye on the Snapchat IPO that was happening down the street. After recovering from a full-on week of excitement and learning, I’m eager to highlight my top four takeaways from the Social Media Week NYC event:
1. Organic Is Only for Your Food.
With the advent of Facebook’s News Feed and everyone else in the social space following suit, the chronological-style update is dead to users. Thousands of elements are factored in when you log in to any of your social media profiles, and some of those elements include paid posts. For companies looking to drive awareness, engagement or conversions, social media is now a pay-to-play game, but you must play it smart. Clicking a “boost” button next to a post is the equivalent of buying the travel-size bottle of aspirin next to the register versus walking back to the medicine aisle and getting a better deal. Sure, it’s convenient and will get you a quick fix, but you can really stretch your dollars and layer in better audience targeting by spending the time planning out a buy. An MTV panelist at Social Media Week NYC admitted that most posts that went viral had some kind of paid element. Whether it was at the start of the post or at a certain viewership level, there was a paid tactic to help grow the viewership and awareness.
2. Snapchat! Snapchat! Snapchat!
Snap Inc. actually went public while we were at Social Media Week NYC, and it’s all anyone wanted to talk about. There were varying degrees of love (and hate) for the ghost icon, but there was no denying how much attention a face swap could get you. Our COO Jay Friedman even got in on the conversation last week, sharing with AdExchanger why he thinks Snapchat’s IPO is more like Twitter 2.0. Snap is now seeing its biggest growth with Gen Xers . . . . you know, the parents of those teenagers who have been snapping for years now. Despite the polarization of the platform, it’s the most “enjoyable communication technology,” according to Adaptly and just recently opened up its advertising platform to the masses. Snapchat is so popular that Facebook seems to be adding very similar features to their suite of products, including Instagram Stories, which has a higher viewership than Snapchat despite its significantly shorter tenure in the space.
3. Video Viewership Is Big. Like Really Big. Huge Even.
YouTube’s viewership continues to rise versus linear TV, which has flatlined. Long gone are the days when everyone sits down to watch a live broadcast together now that video content is so easily accessible on demand. Programmatic TV has been on the rise and will be for years to come. One billion (with a b!) hours are consumed daily on YouTube, and Snapchat sees more than 10 billion video views per day. Facebook just released new features that will only increase viewership — like bigger video displays and auto-sound — and continues to promote its Live feature. Advertising on Facebook Live is still in a closed beta test, but we all know that this paid social advertising trend will catch on and will be opening up to marketers very soon. Even though video viewership is up, attention spans are down. The average video view length on YouTube is 5 seconds, Snapchat 3.4 seconds and Facebook 3 seconds. Apparently, a goldfish has a 12-second attention span, making humans more distracted than a goldfish. Who knew? Well, now you know you’ll need to optimize your videos for shorter view times.
4. The Bots Are Coming!
As messenger apps are becoming more popular, social platforms are finding ways to create that one-to-one user interaction. From Amazon’s Alexa to chatbots, companies are finding ways to create a more personalized and automatic response to their users’ needs. This artificial intelligence is changing how companies communicate with their users and has implications for how advertisers can monetize this new conversant channel. There still is a lot in development in the chatbot arena, and this will be a big year full of releases and updates for the space; for example, Alexa already has more than 10,000 skills, up from the 1,000 it had last summer. Whew, what a list! Those were just my favorite highlights on paid social advertising trends from last week, but what were some of your most memorable moments from Social Media Week NYC? Share with us through our social sites: Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and for more insights to elevate your digital media campaigns in 2017, contact us today.